Owenhouse Ace Hardware has been part of the Bozeman, Montana community for more than 140 years. As a locally-owned business, we know how vital it is to have the support of our community. And at Owenhouse, we support our community right back, proudly featuring products and plants from other locally-owned and operated businesses right here in Bozeman and across Gallatin county.
Shopping local not only ensures the success of local businesses but boosts local economies, too. Studies show that up to $68 out of every $100 spent at a local business stays in the community. Local companies tend to hire from within their community and make purchases from other local service providers, farms, and suppliers, leading to stable, economically robust communities.
To see the merits of building a robust local network of suppliers up close, look no further than the Owenhouse Garden Center. Our local and regional growers allow us to bring our customers the highest quality annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, hanging baskets, and more.
By working only with charitable family-owned local growers, we’re able to bring our customers the very best of what Bozeman has to offer. Many of the plants in our garden center come to us from Visser Greenhouses. We asked the Visser family to tell us about their history and garden nursery center operations so our Owenhouse customers can learn about the deep local roots nourishing each plant you purchase.
What is the story behind Visser Greenhouses?
Jay Visser: We may produce millions of plants every year now but, back in 1970, we started with a single hobby greenhouse in the backyard.
Our family was among the first settlers in the Gallatin Valley, and we’ve been farming here for generations. When we put in the first greenhouse, it was only a hobby–something to experiment with when we weren’t working on our agribusiness.
Before long, though, people noticed it and began asking if they could purchase the plants and vegetables we were cultivating inside. So, it wasn’t long before we erected another greenhouse. And, it was no surprise when yet another greenhouse followed.
We’ve been in our current location on Little Holland Road in Manhattan, MT, since 1985. We started by building seven greenhouses and have expanded to more than sixty greenhouses since then, constructing most of them entirely on our own. Visser Greenhouses has been a family operation from the beginning. All four kids began learning the ins and outs of the family business from a young age and today, some of the grandkids are following in their parents’ footsteps.
Even with members of three generations of the Visser family on hand, it takes a lot of help to make it through our busy season. Each February, operations shift from our core group of six employees to include a crew of 50 as the greenhouses fill up and spring sets in. Between February and April, we handle between 100,000 and 450,000 plants each week, which we ship across the state in eight box trucks and three semi-trucks. By the end of May, the greenhouses are mostly empty again–just in time for us to start filling them back up with the fall mums that will keep our summer crew busy.
What makes Visser Greenhouses unique?
We started as a family-owned and operated business, and we’ve stayed true to our roots to this day. Though we’ve expanded significantly over the years to become one of Montana’s largest wholesale operations, you’ll still find us here every day.
We built our business by offering an extensive selection of plants, always including the latest varieties alongside traditional favorites and unique, hard-to-find specimens. Every year, we go to trade shows as a family to study the latest cultivations and identify those that gardeners will be clamoring for next season. We have the most extensive annual and perennial variety list in
Montana and bring many of the up-and-coming or “hot” cultivars and species to market before anyone else.
Along with mixed containers and hanging baskets, we offer annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs in a wide range of sizes. As our operation continues to grow, it can become challenging to grow and maintain such a vast selection and variety of plants. However, it’s our expansive selection that sets us apart from other large plant and nursery operations. Providing the widest variety of options is what our clients expect — and deserve — from us, so it’s a tradition we’re proud to keep alive.
What products do you supply to Owenhouse Ace Hardware?
Our commercial-size operation ensures we have the availability to supply Owenhouse with popular garden staples that feature in gardens and landscape designs across the state, along with many varieties that can be difficult to find elsewhere.
Professional gardeners and hobbyists head to local garden centers each year, searching for nursery basics to complete their spring and summer flower beds. Hanging baskets, accent plants, pot stuffers, and 6-pack annuals are just a few of the garden essentials we supply to Owenhouse to help add to the beauty of Bozeman’s home gardens.
Owenhouse has access to our complete line of landscape and garden plants, including many of the more unique plant varieties and cultivars unavailable from other suppliers. We make it our goal to offer the selections that gardeners want, whether it’s uniquely-hued dianthus to fill spring gardens with spicy-sweet fragrance or asters and chrysanthemums to add bold color to fall beds after summer blooms fade.
Local Roots for your Local Garden
With Montana roots stretching back generations, Owenhouse is proud to support Visser Greenhouses and other local Montana family farms and nurseries. When you visit the Owenhouse Garden Center, you’ll find top garden and landscape plants from Special K Ranch and Wagner Nursery alongside those sown and grown by the Visser family.
These local, one-of-a-kind, family-owned operations help to make up the fabric and character of our community. As a locally-owned and operated business, Owenhouse Ace Hardware is committed to supporting local businesses here in Bozeman and throughout the region, When you’re ready to get your garden growing, stop by the Garden Center at Owenhouse West to stock up on locally-grown plants that grow your local economy, too!